My husband and I first met at work. I thought he was the quiet guy that came into his office and got to work. Once I got to know him more, I realized the quiet part was so wrong! We started dating in 2016 and got married in 2018. I thought once we wanted to have kids, it would be easy. It was easy for my mom and both my sisters so why wouldn’t it be easy for me too? Once we did decide to start trying for a family, I realized month after month that easiness wasn’t going to be my story.
We started conversations with Shady Grove Fertility, specifically Dr. Connell, in October 2021. This was during the pandemic, so our meetings were virtual. He walked us through what SGF offers, the different treatments, and what the next steps would be. From there I started blood work, did an HSG test, Josh did blood work, and we were told we had unexplained infertility.
We decided to start with intrauterine insemination (IUI). We did three total rounds, in November 2021, took a break in December for the holidays, then the final two in January 2022 and again in February 2022. After three rounds of unsuccessful IUIs we decided to take a pause. It felt like every time I got the results of the IUI, another person told me on that day that they were pregnant. It was a rush of mixed emotions. Happy for them but devastated for me. I needed a mental and physical break; we had the stress of the busiest time of year for work and we needed to take time to relax and breathe after going through the IUIs.
After we got through our busy season, Josh and I began to talk about the next steps. After talking more with Dr. Connell, we decided to move forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF). We were and still are surrounded by very supportive family and friends. The day we were to start shots for IVF was the day of one of my best friend’s weddings. So, during dinner we went to the bridal suite and with help from another friend, who has two beautiful babies thanks to SGF, we made it through our first shots.
Josh is a champ! I prepared the shots and day after day Josh gave them to me. I only had to give them to myself once. I had some amazing friends who had gone through IVF to help with shots if Josh wasn’t able to. They also gave me all the tips and tricks to make the pain of shots more bearable.
We made it to our egg retrieval at the Chesterbrook location and had 20 eggs retrieved, 17 matured, 16 were fertilized, and ultimately had 14 embryos frozen.
Due to some pain I had after one of my IUIs, we decided to do a frozen embryo transfer in order to reduce the potential for OHSS. With lots of love, prayer, and support we transferred one frozen embryo on October 11, 2022. We were about to head to a wedding out of town so I was told I could do my final blood work a day early. We got the results, and I was pregnant! I couldn’t have been more excited to sneakily order mocktails and hope no one would notice.
In January we found out we were having a baby girl! I loved watching our little girl grow through our ultrasounds, which we had many of since I was deemed high risk. I joked that she didn’t want to make it easy to get her, and she didn’t want to make it easy to come out either. After passing my due date I was eventually induced. 36 hours later a stat c-section and our July 4th baby was born. The first July 4th baby at our hospital that day.
While this journey can feel lonely at times, I learned through sharing my story that I am not alone. More people than you realize have also gone through this or are going through it and just want someone to talk to who can understand. Some of my very best friends have also gone through this journey. And those who are lucky enough not to understand this journey did all they could to support and truly wanted to listen. I am beyond thankful to all my friends, family, team at SGF, and God for the gift we’ve been given in our baby girl.
Maternity photos by Tessa Maria Images